- Jun 2005 -
19235 Posts

Behold the Begourder Jacks and Lanterns

In this series of articles, I expand on the creature inspired by my last halloween masterpiece: the begourder.  In this article, I describe two types of begourders: the jack and the lantern.

Begourder Lanterns

The begourder lantern (click on the image to the right for a larger and clearer image of the stat block) appears to be a pale carved pumpkin, about ten to fourteen inches in diameter.  It is most often yellow, orange, or white. It's carving almost always reveals a horrific visage of a one-eyed face.  It has ten stalks, from which bulbos eyes protrude and peer in every direction.  Although it can speak Deep Speech, it rarely speaks, preferring instead to smack its lips and laugh menacingly as it rushes its prey. 

At a distance, these bedeviling plants will often be mistaken for will-o-the-wisps, or as the wisps themselves are confused, for travelers with lanterns.  During the autumnal equinox, fey children engage in a ritual known as "Baatezu's Night", traveling around their communities, demanding treats lest they play a prank against the homeowner.  The lanterns like this night in particular, as they mimic the halting procession of children, causing eladrin to open their doors and allow the malevolant aberrations wreak their havoc.

Begourder lanterns have no fear of death, knowing they will be reborn in the next year's harvest.  They rush their enemies mercilessly.  People who mistake them for begourder jacks will often rush them, thinking the lantern will attack them with their eyestalks.  However, the lantern's eyestalks provide them merely with vision.

Begourder Jacks

The jack (click on the image to the right for a larger and clearer image of the stat block) is typical of the begourder species.  Malevolent, malicious, and yet, undeniably influence by the fey soil in which it was first born.  The jacks are usuallly found in the service of begourder pumpkin queens (to be detailed in the next article).  However, some diabolical alchemist and star-pact warlock horticulturalists have bound these creature sinto their service as well.

The jack is the most popular of all the begourders because, legend states, they are filled with candies.  Eladrin children's stories often involve soem clever child tricking a begourder jack to its doom, so that the child may then collect the delicious confectionaries inside.  Sadly, these tales, as delightful as they may be, have lured more than a few fey children to their doom in the hopes of a sugar rush.

The jack has a fairly standard attack.  Use its flight to stay out of the melee range of most attackers, while whittle down its enemies with its confectionary rays until they are dead.  It uses its rays cleverly, immobilizing enemies who try to get too close, and devastating those who can match it with long-distance attacks.

The begourder jack is always a bright orange carved pumpkin about a foot in diameter.  It's carved face has an unnaturally wide toothy grin, and a single eye, behind which burns a sinister orange flickering flame.  The begourder jack can be distinguished from its cousin the begourder lantern by its smell. While the lantern, like most begourders, smells of pumpkin, the jack has an additional smell of sickly sweet burnt sugar.

Note: If you want to use the begourders but find the candy-related powers too silly, you can easily reflavor them, and add appropriate damage types:
1. Forcefield Eye (force)
2. Petrifying Eye
3. Repulsor Eye (force)
4. Slick Eye
5. Flaming Eye (fire)
6. Devastating Eye (necrotic)
7. Enchanting Eye (psychic)
8. Telekinetic Eye (force)
9. Entangling Eye
10. Acidic Eye (acid)

In the next article, I will introduce the leaders of the begourder race: the pumpkin queen and the stalk tyrant!

Read the entire Begourder Series:

Behold the Begourder!
Begourder Lore
Begourder Jacks & Lanterns
Begourder Queens & Tyrants

See more at Unearthed Wrecana!

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